• Bishop Keith Butler

Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:16-18)

Jesus gave us insight about fasting in Matthew 6:16-18. He began by saying when ye fast; meaning He expects Christians to fast. He said that fasting is not about looking forlorn to get praise from people because that would be fasting for fleshly purposes. Living a fasted life means that the flesh is put under, and our spirit is in control.

Fasting from food is not the highest form of fasting. My spiritual father, Kenneth E. Hagin, used to fast every Tuesday and Friday. He was a great man of God. One day the Lord said to him, "I'd rather you live a fasted life than fast twice a week."

The fasted life is when you never let your body have everything it wants. It's keeping your body in control and never letting it be in charge. Learn to control your flesh by spending extra time with God, and don’t give your flesh what it wants immediately. That's the fasted life, and that's the life that God wants us all to live.

Spend more time with God than you do shopping and eating and doing your hobbies. That is the highest form of the fasted life. Kenneth E. Hagin worked into that lifestyle by having a system of fasting and prayer until he got to the place where it changed how he lived.

Practical Application – Live a fasted life. Determine to pray more than anything else that you do. Don’t give in to your flesh the moment that it wants something.

1 Corinthians 9:27; Galatians 5:13

  • Bishop Keith Butler

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday: And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. (Isaiah 58:6-11)

Isaiah explained that the fast was something he had chosen, but he also connected it to giving bread to the hungry.

Why? Because when you put fasting and giving together, doors open for you to receive from God in a powerful way. Genesis 8:22 says, “As long as the earth remains, seed, time, and harvest shall not cease.” You won’t harvest if you don't plant. You can go outside all you want and talk about how great the soil is, but you aren't going to get any crop unless you plant seed. There is no such thing as harvest without seed. If you have a need, plant a seed. That's how it works. Of course, a seed is not only money. Seed can be time or service as well. What are the results of fasting and giving? Isaiah says that one of the things is the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward. The word reward is rear guard. In other words, God says, “I’ve got your back.” Then, shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. Darkness will be dispelled, and revelation will come to you.

Practical Application – Are you looking for revelation from God? Take time to fast and give. Darkness will break, and revelation will come.

Daniel 9:3; Luke 6:38

  • Bishop Keith Butler

Therefore came I unto you without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for: I ask therefore for what intent ye have sent for me? And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God. (Acts 10:29-31)

Peter was standing in a room full of Gentiles staring at him, and breaking the ice, he asked, “Why am I here?”

Cornelius responded and said that he was praying and fasting. Fasting is both in the Old and the New Testament. Many Christians don't understand what fasting is and why it is essential. It’s important to understand that Biblical fasting is not a diet plan. Today, intermittent fasting is popular as part of many people's weight loss journey, but fasting to lose weight is not what the Bible calls fasting. We are called to fast to draw closer to God.

We are to spend the time in prayer that we would otherwise spend preparing, storing, shopping, cooking, eating and cleaning up after eating. It doesn't just deny the flesh - it is taking a considerable amount of time to be with God and to listen to His voice.

When you purposely do this, your focus will be ten times better, and you will get more revelation because your spirit will be in control, not your flesh. When you commit time to listening to communing with God, you will hear Him more clearly. There is no magic in fasting. It’s not that being hungry will make you spiritually stronger but spending more time in prayer than in the refrigerator will.

Cornelius was praying while he was fasting, and God changed his life, and everyone connected to him with the message of the Gospel.

Practical Application – Have you fasted recently? Decide to fast at least one meal this week and take that time in prayer instead of preparing and eating food. Listen to what God says when you dedicate your time to being with Him.

Judges 20:26; Matthew 17:21





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